A rare glimpse of what the members of the elite think: What are they going to do when things get really tough?

“A lot of these laws and regulations were designed back when the US had a finite amount of energy. Before the new technology was put into place.”  Gordon Sondland, US ambassador to the European Union, at the meeting titled “The Fight for EU Energy Security” held on April 11, 2019, in Brussels. Full video of … Continue reading “A rare glimpse of what the members of the elite think: What are they going to do when things get really tough?”

How We Keep Destroying the Things that Make us Live: The Biotic Pump and the Raw Power of Science

Dr. Anastassia Makarieva describes the concept of the “Biotic Pump” at the Smart Biotic Pump Summit Prague 2018 This is not an easy video to follow, but I thought to propose it to you nevertheless. Perhaps its most impressive feature is how it is not refined, it is not slick, it uses no tricks. It … Continue reading “How We Keep Destroying the Things that Make us Live: The Biotic Pump and the Raw Power of Science”

Did climate change cause the fall of the Roman Empire? No, but what may have actually happened is amazing.

“Vanity Fair” may not be the best source for reliable scientific information, but this cover is typical of an idea that’s becoming popular in the memesphere: that the Roman Empire fell because of climate change. Alas, this means stretching the data more than a bit and surprisingly, the opposite may be true: the climate changed … Continue reading “Did climate change cause the fall of the Roman Empire? No, but what may have actually happened is amazing.”

The Stuff of Our Lives: The Seneca Collapse of Relocating

The experience of relocating is curiously similar to an archaeological excavation of the ruins of a disappeared empire. Above, you can see two jars filled with old coins recovered from the nook and crannies of my house after emptying it of everything. Mostly these are old Italian “lira” coins, others are foreign coins and, in … Continue reading “The Stuff of Our Lives: The Seneca Collapse of Relocating”

The Boy who Cried Wolf: A Bayesian Drama in One Act

The story of the boy who cried wolf too many times is a good way to illustrate our attitude toward the people who try to warn us about dangers ahead. Be it about a wolf or about climate change, the result is always the same: prophets of doom are not believed (and, sometimes, they are … Continue reading “The Boy who Cried Wolf: A Bayesian Drama in One Act”

“The Seneca Strategy” — Asking for Suggestions from my Readers

About Amelia the Amoeba, she is a pedigreed Naegleria Fowleri, a species known for her habit of eating human brains – an interesting case of a Seneca Collapse for the owner of the brain. But Amelia is a good girl and she won’t do that to you if you are nice to her. My second … Continue reading ““The Seneca Strategy” — Asking for Suggestions from my Readers”

The Second Babel Tower: Symphonic Music and the Collapse of the European Cultural Unity

This is EuropeThis is not Europe This is a reflection on how the breakdown of the Medieval cultural unity in Europe resulted in many different effects, from witch hunts to classical music. It came to me from putting together various elements of various talks heard at the excellent meeting “Colloqui di Martina Franca” held in … Continue reading “The Second Babel Tower: Symphonic Music and the Collapse of the European Cultural Unity”

Europe, Europe! The Dream Doesn’t Die.

This video exemplifies the problems the European Union has in managing its own image. It was produced in 2012 and then recalled after being widely labeled as “racist.” In some senses, it was, but it was also one of the very few attempts the Union made to present itself in ways that go beyond the … Continue reading “Europe, Europe! The Dream Doesn’t Die.”

Getting rid of Debt: How About Replacing Money with Social Credit?

Mark Twain had a genial idea with his story “The One Million Pound Bank Note” published in 1853. It was such a huge amount of money that it couldn’t be exchanged, yet it gave its owner all sorts of perks and goods. It was, in a certain way, an anticipation of what we call today … Continue reading “Getting rid of Debt: How About Replacing Money with Social Credit?”

Human Extinction: An Idea Whose Time had to Come.

A few years ago, a political movement taking the name of “extinction rebellion” would have been wholly unthinkable. On the other hand, after more than forty years of warnings on climate change and ecosystem collapse from the world’s best scientists, the message had to start going through, somehow. And it does.One consequence is the appearance … Continue reading “Human Extinction: An Idea Whose Time had to Come.”

Are the Martyrs Coming Back? Julian Assange and the Fall of the Global Empire

And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand (Matthew. 12:25)The more the current world drama unfolds, the more I am amazed by how closely we are following the path that the ancient Roman Empire … Continue reading “Are the Martyrs Coming Back? Julian Assange and the Fall of the Global Empire”

Climate Science Deniers Start Feeling the Heat. Now it is Foot-Dragging Time!

Greta Thunberg is both a cause and an effect in the great shift that’s ongoing in the public opinion about climate change. Climate science deniers are feeling the pressure and they are preparing to change their strategy. No more denying that AGW exists and that it is a danger for all of us. It is … Continue reading “Climate Science Deniers Start Feeling the Heat. Now it is Foot-Dragging Time!”

The Great Fossil Cycle and the Story of a Family

Last week, I published a post on how the economic decline of Italy led me to move to a smaller house, abandoning the mansion that my parents had built during better times. Complementing that post, I thought I could repropose a post I had published in 2017, reproduced here with some minor modifications. You can … Continue reading “The Great Fossil Cycle and the Story of a Family”

Who is Cassandra?

A wonderful interpretation of the ancient Trojan prophetess in a performance by the theoretical physicist Sabine Hossenfelder on her always interesting blog “Backreaction.”  You can find more of her songs at her youtube page. But who was Cassandra? I can tell you that from personal experience. She appeared to me in person — well, as … Continue reading “Who is Cassandra?”

Greta Thunberg heavily insulted by an Italian newspaper. She’s smashing all the mediatic barriers!

The front page of the Italian newspaper “Libero” of April 18. The main title says “La Rompiballe va dal Papa,” translatable as “The pain in the ass Girl goes to see the Pope.” The red text “vieni avanti Gretina” elegantly plays on the similarity in Italian of the diminutive “Gretina” (little Greta) and “cretina” (cretin). … Continue reading “Greta Thunberg heavily insulted by an Italian newspaper. She’s smashing all the mediatic barriers!”

Italy Becoming Poor — Becoming Poor in Italy. The Effects of the Twilight of the Age of Oil

The living room of the house that my parents built in 1965. An American style suburban home, a true mansion in the hills. I lived there for more than 50 years but now I have to give up: I can’t afford it anymore. Let me start with a disclaimer: I am not poor. As a middle … Continue reading “Italy Becoming Poor — Becoming Poor in Italy. The Effects of the Twilight of the Age of Oil”

The Empire of Lies: How we are collapsing in the same way as the Roman Empire did.

(Image source: Wikipedia) The Devil is sometimes said to be “The Father of Lies.” It is an apt definition for a creature that doesn’t even exist except as a figment of human imagination. Satan is an evil egregore that we ourselves created, a creature that seems to loom larger and larger behind the current chronicles. … Continue reading “The Empire of Lies: How we are collapsing in the same way as the Roman Empire did.”

Climate Change Mitigation: Is it a Good Idea to Sweep the Carbon Under the Carpet?

Above: our paper recently published in Nature Energy. Our conclusion is that, in terms of energy returns, renewable energy in the form of solar or wind is much better than carbon capture and storage for mitigating of climate change. Sweeping the carbon underground is not a good idea. We have a little problem: for more … Continue reading “Climate Change Mitigation: Is it a Good Idea to Sweep the Carbon Under the Carpet?”

Russiagate, Climategate, and the Generalized Godwin’s law

Above: results obtained using “Google Trends” of the meme diffusion of the “Climategate” story of 2009 compared with the recent buzz about Trump’s alleged collusion with the Russian government (“Russiagate”). Both memes show similar search volumes and they may both be subjected to a version of “Godwin’s law” that says that in any political discussion … Continue reading “Russiagate, Climategate, and the Generalized Godwin’s law”

New Research Determines the Ultimate Limits of Renewable Energy: The Bardi Sphere

The future of the Earth as described in the new paper by Ugo Bardi. Image sourceA new paper by Ugo Bardi of the University of Florence is in press on the journal “Nature Energy Revolutions.” The study was performed with the support of a European financed project under the Horizon 25-25-25. Using sophisticated simulation tools … Continue reading “New Research Determines the Ultimate Limits of Renewable Energy: The Bardi Sphere”

Why worry about pollution if life expectancy keeps increasing? Ahem…. are you sure?

It seems clear that we won’t get to reach Methuselah’s age. In most Western countries, the average life expectancy has started decreasing from 2014 and we are, maybe, on the edge of a Seneca Cliff for longevity. It could be an effect of pollution, but not just that. Image source.If you ever got into a … Continue reading “Why worry about pollution if life expectancy keeps increasing? Ahem…. are you sure?”

When the Going gets Tough, Women get Going. “MIddle Ages 2.0” and the Great Transformation Awaiting us

In Europe, Greta Thunberg has smashed all the memetic barriers succeeding in doing what nobody else had succeeded before: bringing the climate emergency within the horizon of the public and of the decision makers. In parallel, on the other side of the Atlantic, another young woman, Alexandra Ocasio Cortez has been doing something similar with … Continue reading “When the Going gets Tough, Women get Going. “MIddle Ages 2.0” and the Great Transformation Awaiting us”

The Thunberg Effect Seems to be in Full Swing: Will it Last?

This young lady, Greta Thunberg, is breaking all the memetic barriers: the effect is weak but already evident. Most likely, we’ll see it growing in the coming days. It might be the start of an epochal change in the way the challenges ahead are perceived.On the other hand, expect a reaction from the Powers That … Continue reading “The Thunberg Effect Seems to be in Full Swing: Will it Last?”

The Cryptocurrency of the Middle Ages: Relics

I am re-proposing here a post that I published on “Insurge” about one year ago. It is part of the idea of rediscovering the European Middle Ages not as an age of Barbarism and decline, but as a period of intelligent adaptation to a dearth of resources. Our ancestors of those times faced the problem … Continue reading “The Cryptocurrency of the Middle Ages: Relics”

A rare glimpse of what the members of the elite think: What are they going to do when things get really tough?

“A lot of these laws and regulations were designed back when the US had a finite amount of energy. Before the new technology was put into place.”  Gordon Sondland, US ambassador to the European Union, at the meeting titled “The Fight for EU Energy Security” held on April 11, 2019, in Brussels. Full video of … Continue reading “A rare glimpse of what the members of the elite think: What are they going to do when things get really tough?”

The First Recorded Ecological Collapse in History and How it Was Misunderstood.

Above, you see the Goddess Inanna in her full regalia as depicted on a Sumerian cylinder seal. On the left, Ninshubur (the Queen of the East) Inanna’s second in command. Inanna is sometimes called the “Goddess of Love,” but she was no gentle lady. She was known to tame lions, use weapons, fight her enemies … Continue reading “The First Recorded Ecological Collapse in History and How it Was Misunderstood.”

How We Keep Destroying the Things that Make us Live: The Biotic Pump and the Raw Power of Science

Dr. Anastassia Makarieva describes the concept of the “Biotic Pump” at the Smart Biotic Pump Summit Prague 2018 This is not an easy video to follow, but I thought to propose it to you nevertheless. Perhaps its most impressive feature is how it is not refined, it is not slick, it uses no tricks. It … Continue reading “How We Keep Destroying the Things that Make us Live: The Biotic Pump and the Raw Power of Science”

Did climate change cause the fall of the Roman Empire? No, but what may have actually happened is amazing.

“Vanity Fair” may not be the best source for reliable scientific information, but this cover is typical of an idea that’s becoming popular in the memesphere: that the Roman Empire fell because of climate change. Alas, this means stretching the data more than a bit. The Roman Empire did NOT fall because of climate change. … Continue reading “Did climate change cause the fall of the Roman Empire? No, but what may have actually happened is amazing.”

The Stuff of Our Lives: The Seneca Collapse of Relocating

The experience of relocating is curiously similar to an archaeological excavation of the ruins of a disappeared empire. Above, you can see two jars filled with old coins recovered from the nook and crannies of my house after emptying it of everything. Mostly these are old Italian “lira” coins, others are foreign coins and, in … Continue reading “The Stuff of Our Lives: The Seneca Collapse of Relocating”

The Stuff of Our Lives: The Seneca Collapse of What we Keep in Our Homes

The experience of relocating is curiously similar to an archaeological excavation of the ruins of a disappeared empire. Above, you can see two jars filled with old coins recovered from the nook and crannies of my house after emptying it of everything. Mostly these are old Italian “lira” coins, others are foreign coins and, in … Continue reading “The Stuff of Our Lives: The Seneca Collapse of What we Keep in Our Homes”

The Boy who Cried Wolf: A Bayesian Drama in One Act

The story of the boy who cried wolf too many times is a good way to illustrate our attitude toward the people who try to warn us about dangers ahead. Maybe it is about a wolf, or about climate change, the result is always the same: prophets of doom are not believed (and, sometimes, they … Continue reading “The Boy who Cried Wolf: A Bayesian Drama in One Act”

The Boy who Called Wolf: A Bayesian Drama in One Act

The story of the boy who cried wolf too many times is a good way to illustrate our attitude toward the people who try to warn us about dangers ahead. Maybe it is about a wolf, or about climate change, the result is always the same: prophets of doom are not believed (and, sometimes, they … Continue reading “The Boy who Called Wolf: A Bayesian Drama in One Act”

“The Seneca Strategy” — Asking for Suggestions from my Readers

About Amelia the Amoeba, she is a pedigreed Naegleria Fowleri, a species known for her habit of eating human brains – an interesting case of a Seneca Collapse for the owner of the brain. But Amelia is a good girl and she won’t do that to you if you are nice to her. My second … Continue reading ““The Seneca Strategy” — Asking for Suggestions from my Readers”

“The Seneca Strategy” — A Request for Help from my Readers

About Amelia the Amoeba, she is a pedigreed Nigelia Fowleri, a species known for her habit of eating human brains – an interesting case of a Seneca Collapse. But Amelia is a good girl and she won’t do that to you if you are nice to her. My second book on the concept of “Seneca … Continue reading ““The Seneca Strategy” — A Request for Help from my Readers”

The Second Babel Tower: Symphonic Music and the Collapse of the European Cultural Unity

This is EuropeThis is not Europe This is a reflection on how the breakdown of the Medieval cultural unity in Europe resulted in many different effects, from witch hunts to classical music. It came to me from putting together various elements of various talks heard at the excellent meeting “Colloqui di Martina Franca” held in … Continue reading “The Second Babel Tower: Symphonic Music and the Collapse of the European Cultural Unity”

Europe, Europe! The Dream Doesn’t Die.

This video exemplifies the problems the European Union has in managing its own image. It was produced in 2012 and then recalled after being widely labeled as “racist.” In some senses, it was, but it was also one of the very few attempts the Union made to present itself in ways that go beyond the … Continue reading “Europe, Europe! The Dream Doesn’t Die.”

Getting rid of Debt: How About Replacing Money with Social Credit?

Mark Twain had a genial idea with his story “The One Million Pound Bank Note” published in 1853. It was such a huge amount of money that it couldn’t be exchanged, yet it gave its owner all sorts of perks and goods. It was, in a certain way, an anticipation of what we call today … Continue reading “Getting rid of Debt: How About Replacing Money with Social Credit?”

A World With no Debt and no Bankruptcies: How About Social Credit as Money?

Mark Twain had a genial idea with his story “The One Million Pound Bank Note” published in 1853. It was such a huge amount of money that it couldn’t be exchanged, yet it gave its owner all sorts of perks and goods. It was, in a certain way, an anticipation of what we call today … Continue reading “A World With no Debt and no Bankruptcies: How About Social Credit as Money?”

Human Extinction: An Idea Whose Time had to Come.

A few years ago, a political movement that took the name of “extinction rebellion” would have been wholly unthinkable. On the other hand, after more than forty years of warnings on climate change and ecosystem collapse from the world’s best scientists, the message had to start going through, somehow. One consequence is the appearance on … Continue reading “Human Extinction: An Idea Whose Time had to Come.”

Are the Martyrs Coming Back? Julian Assange and the Fall of the Global Empire

And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand (Matthew. 12:25)The more the current world drama unfolds, the more I am amazed by how closely we are following the path that the ancient Roman Empire … Continue reading “Are the Martyrs Coming Back? Julian Assange and the Fall of the Global Empire”

The Great Fossil Cycle and the Story of a Family

Last week, I published a post on how the economic decline of Italy led me to move to a smaller house, abandoning the mansion that my parents had built during better times. Complementing that post, I thought I could repropose a post I had published in 2017, reproduced here with some minor modifications. You can … Continue reading “The Great Fossil Cycle and the Story of a Family”

Climate Science Deniers Start Feeling the Heat. Now it is Foot-Dragging Time!

Greta Thunberg is both a cause and an effect in the great shift that’s ongoing in the public opinion about climate change. Climate science deniers are feeling the pressure and they are preparing to change their strategy. No more denying that AGW exists and that it is a danger for all of us. It is … Continue reading “Climate Science Deniers Start Feeling the Heat. Now it is Foot-Dragging Time!”

The Great Fossil Cycle and US: Story of a Family

Last week, I published a post on how the economic decline of Italy led me to move to a smaller house, abandoning the mansion that my parents had built during better times. Complementing that post, I thought I could repropose a post I had published in 2017, reproduced here with some minor modifications. You can … Continue reading “The Great Fossil Cycle and US: Story of a Family”

New Research Determines the Ultimate Limits of Renewable Energy: The Bardi Sphere

The future of the Earth as described in the new paper by Ugo Bardi. Image sourceA new paper by Ugo Bardi of the University of Florence is in press on the journal “Nature Energy Revolutions.” The study was performed with the support of a European financed project under the Horizon 25-25-25. Using sophisticated simulation tools … Continue reading “New Research Determines the Ultimate Limits of Renewable Energy: The Bardi Sphere”

Why worry about pollution if life expectancy keeps increasing? Ahem…. are you sure?

It seems clear that we won’t get to reach Methuselah’s age. In most Western countries, the average life expectancy has started decreasing from 2014 and we are, maybe, on the edge of a Seneca Cliff for longevity. It could be an effect of pollution, but not just that. Image source.If you ever got into a … Continue reading “Why worry about pollution if life expectancy keeps increasing? Ahem…. are you sure?”

When the Going gets Tough, Women get Going. “MIddle Ages 2.0” and the Great Transformation Awaiting us

In Europe, Greta Thunberg has smashed all the memetic barriers succeeding in doing what nobody else had succeeded before: bringing the climate emergency within the horizon of the public and of the decision makers. In parallel, on the other side of the Atlantic, another young woman, Alexandra Ocasio Cortez has been doing something similar with … Continue reading “When the Going gets Tough, Women get Going. “MIddle Ages 2.0” and the Great Transformation Awaiting us”

The Thunberg Effect Seems to be in Full Swing: Will it Last?

This young lady, Greta Thunberg, is breaking all the memetic barriers: the effect is weak but already evident. Most likely, we’ll see it growing in the coming days. It might be the start of an epochal change in the way the challenges ahead are perceived.On the other hand, expect a reaction from the Powers That … Continue reading “The Thunberg Effect Seems to be in Full Swing: Will it Last?”

The Cryptocurrency of the Middle Ages: Relics

I am re-proposing here a post that I published on “Insurge” about one year ago. It is part of the idea of rediscovering the European Middle Ages not as an age of Barbarism and decline, but as a period of intelligent adaptation to a dearth of resources. Our ancestors of those times faced the problem … Continue reading “The Cryptocurrency of the Middle Ages: Relics”

The real Energy Return of Crude Oil: smaller than you would have imagined

  A simple but important study by Luciano Celi shows what is the real energy return that oil companies manage to attain. Much smaller than you would have believed, in several cases it is today well below 10. Which means that renewable energies already produce a larger EROI than oil and gas. No more excuses … Continue reading “The real Energy Return of Crude Oil: smaller than you would have imagined”

What can we Learn From the Middle Ages About Collapse? The Great Challenge of the Seneca Bottleneck

The idea that a collapse is awaiting our civilization seems to be gaining ground, although it has not reached the mainstream debate. But no civilization before ours escaped collapse, so it makes sense to think that the entity we call “The West” is going to crash down, badly, in the future. Then, just as it … Continue reading “What can we Learn From the Middle Ages About Collapse? The Great Challenge of the Seneca Bottleneck”